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Schnieders Pledges Sysco Will Move a Case More Effectively than Others



{mosimage}Speaking last week at Sysco's Annual Shareholders' Meeting, Schnieders said: "Our vision is to become the global leader of the efficient, multi-temperature food product supply chain," he said. "We will be able to move a case, or multiple cases, of food and related products from points anywhere in the world more effectively than any other company."

Analyzing business in 2005 and charting a course for the near future, Schnieders said the corporation is committed to its North American long-term growth objectives as it leverages its capabilities to expand.

Schnieders said Sysco is expanding its sourcing of food and related products from producers worldwide. Over time, the company expects to reduce product costs to customers and give them access to new markets and suppliers that previously were unavailable, he noted.

In addition, the acquisitions of International Food Group and Guest Supply Co., which sell into more than 90 countries, have increased Sysco's knowledge and capabilities in international distribution to franchisees of U.S. and Canadian-based restaurant and hotel chains, Schnieders said. Sysco will leverage this expertise to augment product offerings and further expand and improve service for customers overseas, he added.

Finally, Schnieders said Sysco has had a desire to acquire suitable distribution partners outside North America and has carefully and strategically researched appropriate markets over the years.

"Many international opportunities remain available to us that cannot be ignored," Schnieders pointed out. "Sysco will continue to engage in discussions with international distributors and to evaluate acquiring an interest in one or more distribution partners outside North America."

He emphasized that Sysco will apply the same stringent criteria used in evaluating acquisitions in North America.

"By further developing our global supply chain," said Schnieders, "we intend to provide significant benefits and opportunities for our customers, suppliers, Sysco associates, and ultimately our shareholders. This is an exciting time for SYSCO and for our vision of growth in the global marketplace."

In other business, Sysco's shareholders reelected Judith B. Craven, M.D., Richard G. Merrill, Phyllis S. Sewell and Richard G. Tilghman to serve as directors for a period of three years. Shareholders also approved the appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as the company's independent accountants for fiscal 2006, the 2005 Management Incentive Plan, the payment of compensation to certain executive officers under the 2000 Management Incentive Plan, and the 2005 Non-Employee Directors Stock Plan.

Sysco also approved a 20 million share buyback program. The board of Houston-based Sysco also approved a 13.3% increase in the company's quarterly cash dividend, upping the dividend from 15 cents to 17 cents per share. The new dividend, the 37th increase in its history, is payable on Jan. 27, 2006, to common shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 6, 2006.

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